"... created by H.G. Wells in his 1895 novel The Time Machine. To put it another way, time travel is two years older than Dracula, and eight years younger than Sherlock Holmes. The very term 'time travel' is a back-formation from the unnamed principal character of the story, whom Wells calls 'the Time Traveller.' The new idea caught on so quickly that it was appearing in the Oxford English Dictionary by 1914. Wells is described by Gleick as 'a thoroughly modern man, a believer in socialism, free love, and bicycles.' He was a serious thinker in his own way, forceful and coarse-grained, but the invention of the time machine wasn’t one of his deep philosophical conceptions. It was instead a narrative device for a story with two cruxes, one of them political-philosophical and the other imaginative. Its main argumentative point comes when Wells travels to the far future and finds that humanity has evolved into two different species, the brutish, underground-dwelling Morlocks and the etiolated, effete, surface-living Eloi. This, Wells implies, is what could happen if current trends toward inequality continue unchecked...."
From "Can We Escape from Time?" by John Lanchester in The New York Review of Books.
The book reviewed is "Time Travel: A History," by James Gleick. (Gleick wrote "Chaos: Making a New Science." Maybe you read that.)